Skip to main content

functional languages

functional languages (applicative languages) A class of programming languages whose programs compute functions. In practice, the class of functional languages are a subclass of the declarative languages, and are based on lambda calculus or recursion equations. Typically a program in a functional language consists of an unordered set of equations that characterize functions and their values. Functions are specified by use of recursion, other functions, and values. Values are characterized as functions applied to other values. Ultimately the set of equations that is the program must characterize all functions and values in terms of the primitive functions and values provided by the language. The values characterized by the equations include the values computed by executing the program.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"functional languages." A Dictionary of Computing. . 19 Mar. 2019 <>.

"functional languages." A Dictionary of Computing. . (March 19, 2019).

"functional languages." A Dictionary of Computing. . Retrieved March 19, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.